Developed by ASL Flurry

Time Required for Activity:  45 mins

Competencies Address: 

    • Depiction
    • Classifiers
    • Use of Space


Learners will:

  1. Improve use of depiction and structuring space in ASL.

Part 1 | Part 2 

This activity is the second in a series of two activities. To begin with the first activity, locate the activity entitled ASL to English simultaneous interpretation: Oregon flood. For maximum learning, we recommend spacing out the time between the first and second activity. Allowing yourself to forget some of what you know about this video contributes to desirable difficulty that increases the durability of your learning.

Video Synopsis

In this ASL narrative, Laurene Gallimore tells about her experience during a flood that occurred in Oregon in the 1996. This video was taken from Language Use in ASL, created by the Region X Interpreter Education Center at Western Oregon State College.

Step 1: Preview the source video

If you have not already done so, view the source video, Oregon Flood.

Step 2: Identification of depiction and structuring space

Use the tips to the right of each video clip below from the Oregon Flood narrative to identify and analyze the way the speaker uses space and depiction to tell her story. After viewing each example, try producing it yourself in a manner as similar to the speaker’s as possible. By clicking on the time code, the excerpt of the video will play in a pop-up window.

00:27-00:36   staircase leading down to a dock on the Willamette River
00:41-00:43  I talked with the owner
1:33-1:39  big windows, watching the different boats pass by, and seeing the sun shimmer off of the water
2:25-2:33 that the snow in the mountains was melting rapidly and heading toward the towns.  It was uncommonly warm for February
2:34-2:40 the melting snow plus the rain
2:42-2:51 water level in the dam to rise
3:11-3:13 we all needed to be ready to evacuate
3:15-3:18 I called my husband
3:21-3:25  I called my son, too
3:26-3:32  he told me that the water level had already risen up over our dock
3:55-4:04  We decided that it was better to pull over and leave his Geo because it was so small that it wouldn’t make it through the rushing water
5:18-5:22  It was much harder than when we had moved everything in
5:35-5:36  We thought that maybe if we yelled someone could hear us
5:37-5:43  our son said that that water was too loud and you couldn’t hear anything
6:04-6:09  my son heard another family screaming which made a total of three families all stranded
6:11-6:18  We decided to leave the cat in the bathroom
7:13-7:15  Luckily they weren’t able to use the helicopter to rescue us because of the power lines

Step 3: Retell with depiction and assess

Now that you have practiced telling some parts of the Oregon Flood story using depiction, try putting it all together and retell the entire Oregon Flood story. Retell the story as if it were your own, telling the story using “I” and “my” instead of “she” or “her”. Record your work.

Watch the recording of your work. How well did you incorporate the depiction from the source text? Assess your use of:

  • classifiers
  • spatial referents
  • spatial structuring
  • role shifting (constructed action and constructed dialogue)
  • facial expressions

Do they look similar to Laurene’s use of them in the source text?  If you can do it even better, try it again. When you are satisfied, go on to the next activity in this series entitled, ASL simultaneous interpretation of a parallel text: Oregon flood.

Learn More About Depiction

To learn more about depiction in ASL, view Miako Rankin’s online workshop, Depiction, Blending, and Constructed Action…Oh My! (Gallaudet University Regional Interpreter Education Center (GURIEC), Washington, DC, March 30, 2012):